Tennis elbow, known medically as lateral epicondylitis, is inflammation of the tendons that extend the wrist away from the palm of the hand. As the name suggests, tennis elbow is often caused by hitting tennis balls in the backhand position, but it can also be caused by other repetitive motions such as operating a chainsaw or other hand tools, painting, carpentry, dentistry, gardening, working an assembly line, or playing a musical instrument, as well as various other sports like baseball, golf, bowling, fencing and other racquet sports.
Tennis elbow is common in both men and women, usually starts between the ages of 30 and 50, and most often affects the dominant side of the body. Symptoms usually start slowly and can include stiffness or pain, a weakened grip, burning or pain in the outer elbow, pain when twisting or bending the arm, and/or a swollen, tender elbow joint.
Tennis elbow can be diagnosed using x-rays and other imaging tests like MRI, CT scans and diagnostic ultrasound along with electromyography (EMG) to check for compressed nerves.
Initial treatment usually includes rest from the activity that causes the symptoms, ice, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and stretching and strengthening exercises. If these techniques do not resolve the issue than your doctor may suggest steroid injections to help reduce inflammation, wearing a brace, physical therapy, and/or therapeutic ultrasound to break up scar tissue and promote healing. Surgery for tennis elbow is usually not necessary.
There are ways to help prevent tennis elbow. Listening to your body and stopping an activity when you have pain, stretching the wrists and arms before starting an activity, and lifting weights to help strengthen the forearms and wrist muscles can all help to reduce the risk of developing this condition.
Bio-Touch is a highly effective touch technique that has been shown to help with pain. It is easy to learn, everyone is effective the first time they practice, and it can be used along with any other treatments prescribed by your doctor.
The information presented here is for educational purposes only. Medical advice is neither offered nor implied. Please consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.